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View Full Version : Makai claims of Bone Nut and Saddle



PhilUSAFRet
04-20-2015, 04:26 AM
Just lowered the action on my Makai PK55 soprano pineapple. The nut and saddle are about as soft as plastic gets. No bone here. I wonder how many uke buyers chose the Makai because of the bone nut and saddle claim over similar instruments by other makers that do not make the same claim?

jer
04-20-2015, 02:11 PM
I have installed quite a few bone nuts and saddles over the years on various instruments. I got some bone from one source (can't even remember for sure who it was now) that did seem as soft as some of the plastic or plastic-like nuts and saddles. It dented just like Tusq (I like Tusq, but it dents at the saddle and is nowhere near as durable as hard bone). It was definitely bone though, as it had the distinct smell while sanding it.
That said, not all bone is the same, that's for sure.
Just an example: Stewmac.com has two different types of bone. One is unbleached and the other bleached white. The unbleached is harder than the bleached white. Their information says that, and I've tried both and agree. Even their unbleached white is harder than the bone I mentioned earlier that dented easily.
It's possible it's just a softer bone on your uke. Of course it's possible it is plastic too, I just thought I'd throw this out there. Not everyone know this, and I wouldn't know myself had I not had an experience with the softer bone.

Camsuke
04-20-2015, 02:15 PM
I agree, you can generally smell bone when you file it.

Jeffelele
04-20-2015, 10:41 PM
I agree, you can generally smell bone when you file it.

But should you?

Jeff

PhilUSAFRet
04-21-2015, 01:38 AM
Understand bone dust is very harmful to breathe. I also should have stated that the nut appeared to be molded. It was hollow inside with two molded braces. I have tested nuts and saddles with a heated blade in an inconspicuous place. Plastic will melt, bone won't.

jer
04-21-2015, 09:10 AM
Understand bone dust is very harmful to breathe. I also should have stated that the nut appeared to be molded. It was hollow inside with two molded braces. I have tested nuts and saddles with a heated blade in an inconspicuous place. Plastic will melt, bone won't.
Yikes. That is an important piece of information for sure. I've never seen that with bone either.

Also, thanks for those mentioning it being bad to breathe. I usually do use a mask (It's not too often I make nuts or saddles) but could probably stand to use a better one. For whatever reason I had never put it into the same category as certain woods as far as the dangers of breathing the dust. I will definitely pay more attention now.

Camsuke
04-21-2015, 12:45 PM
It sounds like a Nubone nut Phil.

Ukuleleblues
04-21-2015, 01:38 PM
I was reading about some guy in the midwest and few years back who contracted anthrax, the FBI was all over it. It turns our he made drums and got some cows skins from infected cows. I wonder, besides the issues with breathing the dust, if you could get something like that from filing a nut?

jer
04-21-2015, 01:44 PM
I was reading about some guy in the midwest and few years back who contracted anthrax, the FBI was all over it. It turns our he made drums and got some cows skins from infected cows. I wonder, besides the issues with breathing the dust, if you could get something like that from filing a nut?
Ouch. Stories like that make Tusq sound a lot better.

From what I've heard, most of the bone sold for nuts and saddles is cow bone imported from China.

Camsuke
04-21-2015, 01:54 PM
Down here in Australia, we just go out into the paddock and collect a couple of cattle shin bones! They do need to be well aged.

Ukuleleblues
04-21-2015, 02:41 PM
Down here in Australia, we just go out into the paddock and collect a couple of cattle shin bones! They do need to be well aged.One of the suppliers was selling fossilized Mastodon ivory. That should be aged enough. I always get a kick out of that. I guess if you payed $$ for a fossilized mastodon tusk nut you would have to bore regular folks with the story when you showed them the uke. Like it has magical properties not just mass and stability.

There is probably some guy that used to work at area 51 with an alien boned nut on his 1965 Kamaka hoping they will declassify so he can make $$ off his uke. Probably sounds like crap because alien bones are notoriously soft and inconsistent in density from the space travel....or so I have read.

PhilUSAFRet
04-21-2015, 03:07 PM
It sounds like a Nubone nut Phil.

Thanks, I don't k now much about nubone. Need to investigate. This stuff was awfully soft.